Mar 4, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco (7) singled during the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at a spring training game at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Phillies are 13-23. They’re last in the NL East. Only two teams in the NL have fewer wins than our Fightin’ Phils. It’s only May, but this season is already lost.
But not everything is bad. The Phillies do actually have some intriguing prospects in the pipeline. And today, they called up their most promising one: Maikel Franco. He is the team’s third baseman of the future.
Franco, who hit .355 with 12 doubles and 4 homers for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs this year, was the Baseball America’s No. 17-rated prospect in 2014. (He fell to No. 56 this year, but whatever, let’s ignore that.) The native of the Dominican Republic was signed by the Phillies as an international free agent in 2010. Read more »
The language in the above video is considered not safe for work, unless you work on on a 18th-century shipping vessel or a factory where swear words are created.
A few weeks ago, Lenny Dykstra and Mitch Williamswere roasted by a lineup consisting primarily of WIP jocks (and also Stu Bykofsky, John Bolaris and Susie Celek).
A video has now been making the rounds of a tense moment at the roast between Williams and Dykstra. It was posted by Joe Conklin’s Twitter account, so maybe — as Big League Stew speculates — it’s all an act. Read more »
SO LONELY: Empty upper-deck seats at the start of Tuesday night’s Phillies game against the Marlins. (Photo | Dan McQuade)
It was the top of the first inning. The Marlins had a man on with two outs. Mike Morse fouled off a pitch; there were now two strikes. The big screen at the Phillies game exhorted the fans: “Get loud!” There was scattered applause.
We are just seven home games into the 2015 season. Citizens Bank Park feels different. The opening day crowd of 45,549 seems so long ago already. Last night was Dollar Dog Night, yet there were few long lines for discounted dogs. (Tony Luke’s and Campo’s were still packed, however; I am convinced CBP’s cheesesteak outposts have long lines even when the stadium is closed.)
Despite the gorgeous weather last night, the attendance for the Phillies’ 7-3 win over the Marlins — for Dollar Dog Night and Jackie Robinson Day (observed) — was just 21,993. Read more »
Phillies pitcher Aaron Harang attempts a sacrifice bunt in the third inning of Monday’s Phillies-Mets game. It was successful! (Photo: Dan McQuade)
I last attended a Mets game in New York in 2006. It was an 88-degree Saturday in August. A Jon Lieber error led to three Mets runs in the sixth, giving New York a 4-3 win. Tom Glavine got the win. Billy Wagner got the save. The Phillies scored all their runs in the first-inning on a three-run Ryan Howard homer.
I wore my Phillies Randy Wolf jersey and was taunted by fans throughout the game. Quite a few fans of the Mets — who were, at the time, a dozen games up in the NL East — were heavily invested in making sure I knew they didn’t like the Phillies. I was shouted at. I learned I sucked. I was called an asshole. It was nothing major. Much of it was good-natured. But it was there.
On Monday, I went to the Mets home opener at shiny new Citi Field wearing a bright red Phillies vest and red pinstripe Philadelphia sneakers. It was a record crowd for a Mets game: 43,947. And yet I heard nary a peep. The Mets haven’t made the playoffs since 2006. The Phillies haven’t been to the postseason since 2011 — and they aren’t getting back there anytime soon, either. Phillies fans have realized this. Mets fans have some hope for this year — Monday was a huge crowd, and the game last night drew a huge TV audience — but they’re certainly not worried about the Phillies. Read more »
We are done waiting ’till next year: It is next year. It’s Opening Day in Major League Baseball, and the Phillies start the season with a home interleague game against the Boston Red Sox. Cole Hamels starts for the Phils.
So what kind of day is it going to be? What kind of year is it going to be?
The Phillies, on the other hand, have been upfront that they view this as a rebuilding season.
Club president Pat Gillick candidly said on multiple occasions that he doesn’t expect the Phillies to contend in 2015 or ’16. “I don’t think it’s in the cards. I think somewhere around 2017 or 2018,” he said.
The former Phillie at home in South Jersey. Photograph by Dom Savini
Mitch Williams was, until recently, known for two things — throwing a baseball and talking baseball. He’s doing the latter here in a cramped studio in Collingswood, New Jersey. It’s home to Wildfire Radio, an online station that’s hoping to attract attention with Unleashed, a baseball chat show hosted by former Phillies reliever Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams. On a cold night in January, Mitch is flanked by two co-hosts and a special guest — his son, Declan. “I want people at home to know the depth of the knowledge of kids that are watching our game today,” Mitch explains, in case listeners are wondering why his 10-year-old is sitting in tonight. “It’s amazing. He amazes me on a daily basis.” Read more »
This one is easy for any Phillies fan, so there’s no sense hiding the correct response: Last night on Jeopardy!, there was a clue about our beloved Philadelphia Phillies! You can watch it above. Read more »
The Phillies announced this week that they will now sell wine and hard liquor at home games this season, and not just at McFadden’s at the park. In related news, I don’t have enough column space to write the jokes flowing from that announcement.
You will need to drink early and often this season to stomach a Phillies team that could be as bad as any we’ve seen in these parts. With a lineup bereft of power and defense, and — after Cole Hamels — a pitching rotation that is feeble and the definition of journeyman-like, these Fightin’ Phils could lose as many as 100 games. Read more »
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins against the Chicago White Sox during a spring training baseball game at Camelback Ranch.
Last year, Jimmy Rollinspassed Mike Schmidt for the most hits in Phillies history. I happened to attend the next day. Rollins led off. He popped up.
“I’ll be so happy when he’s gone,” a fan behind me yelled. “The most overrated player in Phillies history.” It’s impossible to quantify just who is the most overrated player in the long history of the Fightin Phils, but it’s probably not the man with the biggest hit in Phillies history. But there has always been a segment of the fanbase that doesn’t like Rollins. He pops up too much. (Yeah, his infield fly ball numbers are a little higher than average.)
Sometimes, he doesn’t run out grounders. Last year, Pete Rose criticized Rollins for caring about individual statistics. (Yes, Pete Rose, the man who calls himself the Hit King.) The comments on this CSN Philly piece about Rose’s comments tell the story. One fan even calls Rollins a “cancer” on the team! Read more »